Joe and Carol Trimmer Awards for Outstanding Senior Honors Thesis or Project

Thanks to the generosity of Professor Joe Trimmer and his wife, Carol, a maximum of two cash awards of $1,000 each have been provided for the most outstanding Honors College senior capstone project. One award is given for a research or analytical thesis, and one is for a creative project.

Joe Trimmer is a long-standing Honors College faculty member and the director of Ball State’s Virginia B. Ball Center for Creative Inquiry. Carol Trimmer is outreach coordinator for Indiana Public Radio WBST 92.1 at Ball State.

In addition to the cash prize, the winners of these awards are recognized at a reception in the Ball Honors House on the day of university commencement, are named during the Honors College freshman fall convocation, and receive a certificate commemorating the award.

To be considered for the award, a thesis or project must be close enough to completion that its quality can be evaluated. The deadline for submitting a thesis for the next awards is March 24, 2017. Creative projects must be submitted to the Honors College (Ball Honors House) no later than March 31, 2017.


  • Students must be nominated by a faculty member and must be members of the Honors College in good standing. The nominating faculty member must state the category for which the thesis or project is being nominated. 
  • The project must be submitted in accordance with procedures specified by the Honors College in fulfilling the requirements for the honors senior capstone project, as outlined in the most recent Thesis/Creative Project Guide: Everything You Need to Know About HONR 499. This includes timely approval of the project through a thesis appointment with the Honors College and submission of a signed, approved project proposal in advance. 
  • Winners will be selected by a committee appointed by the dean of the Honors College. 
  • If no submissions are considered worthy to receive the award, no award will be made.

Please review the frequently asked questions about the Trimmer Awards, and be sure to contact the Honors College if you need more information.

Current Winners
2016    Gabrielle C. Boyd, "Nobody Panic (But the Emergency Exit is Locked): A Sketch Show"
           Mentor:  Jennifer Blackmer
           Allyson Garrett, "Breathing in Harmony": An Assessment of Unique Inspiratory Muscle Traning Techniques
           Utilized by Patients with COPD in Pulmonary Rehabilitation
           Mentor:  Nicole Koontz
Past Winners
2015    Stephanie Ann Sink, "Walt Disney, the 1964-65 World's Fair, and the Emergence of Audio-
Mentor:  Bruce Geelhoed
            Connor William Fak, "A Sentimental Journey: Rejuvenating Great American Soundscapes
            in a New Film Musical."
Mentor:  Vanessa Ament
2014    Kelly McMasters, Streets of Buenos Aires
    Mentor:  Mark Sawrie
            Brittany Russell, Spanish Heritage Language Learners in East Central Indiana: Teacher's
            Attitudes and Beliefs
    Mentor:  Lisa Kuriscak
2013    Megan Harris, Indiana's Miscegenation Laws:  An Ineffective Racist Agenda.  
            Mentor: John Scott Parkinson
            Audrey Van Acker and Alaina Hartman, Literacy in Delaware County:  Mentor: Karen Thatcher    
2012    Elise Rorick, Opening the Box:  Exploring the Myth of Pandora.  Mentor:  Jacinda Russell
2012    Tyler Wolford, Hospital.  Mentor: Christine Shea
2011    Whittley Lewis, Why No Thesis?: A Rhetorical Analysis of Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass.
            Mentor: Paul Ranieri (English)
            Abigail Hines, Between Beats. Mentor: Andrew Hosey (Digital Corps)
2010    Pedro Bassoe, Japanese Unfiltered: Conversational and Practical Language through Manga.
            Mentor: Guohe Zheng.
            Eric Spall, Three Camps: Drumming and Drummers in the American Civil War. Mentor: Nicole
            Etcheson (History)
2009    Richard (Shane) Kelly, Creating a New World:  Explorations of the SciFi Fantasy Genre
            Mentor: Mark Neely (English)
            Lydia Spotts,  The Csángó in Ghimeș-Faget:  Boundary and Ethnic Definition in Transylvania.
            Mentor: James Nyce (Anthropology)
2008    Claire Buffie, create.capture.captivate (Mentor: Mark Sawrie) 
            Ashley Spencer, Constructing the Fabric of Jane Austen’s Work Today (Mentor: Joanne Edmonds)